Site 41JS122

Archeologist Joe Ben Wheat conducted excavations at this site in 1940 as part of the Texas Tech University WPA archeological project.  Findings from the graves of three individuals buried within stone cairns are detailed in his quarterly report. Among these are the remains of a woman who apparently suffered a violent death. There were also two unusual empty cairns.

The first burial contained the remains of an adult woman, placed loosely flexed on her right side with head facing east. The lower mandible had been removed from her head prior to inhumation, Wheat notes.  Within her pelvic girdle lay the basal fragment of a long, thin, and slender arrow point with serration and lateral notches on the blade edges.

A few feet to the northeast were buried the fragmentary remains of an adult. A bone awl, made of the split metarsal of an ungulate, was associated with this bundle burial.

The flexed remains of another adult of indeterminate sex were uncovered in a pit several yards to the north.  It was poorly preserved with no associated artifacts.

Two empty, or “blank” cairns, also were found. These had  the “typical roof structure,” but excavation revealed nothing within.  “Several  interesting explanations offer themselves,” Wheat notes. “Were the cairns looted in antiquity and the stones replaced or were the pits dug at one time and never used? “

 

 

 

Map of two of the cairns at the site at the sandstone ledge.

Two empty, or “blank” cairns, were found, and several  interesting explanations offer themselves. Were the cairns looted in antiquity and the stones replaced or were the pits dug at one time and never used? - Joe Ben Wheat 1940